PHILADELPHIA -- Leaning back on the wall outside the unfamiliar visitor's dressing room at Wells Fargo Center, Los Angeles Kings forward Jeff Carter flashed a smile, revealing his bumpy gums and some scarce chipped and out-of-position teeth, a hockey player's signature grin.
There was no way to know what Carter's smile looked like June 23, 2011, when he was traded by thePhiladelphia Flyers to the Columbus Blue Jackets in the first of two culture-changing transactions made that day by Flyers general manager Paul Holmgren, who later traded former captain Mike Richards to the Kings.
Carter was sad to be traded, and angry at the organization that drafted him and had signed him to an 11-year, $58 million contract less than a year earlier. His no-trade clause hadn't kicked in yet, but Carter thought he was safe -- until Holmgren sent him to Columbus for forward Jakub Voracek and a 2011 first-round pick he turned into center Sean Couturier.
Carter was traded to the Kings eight months later, ending a short stint in Columbus. And as he prepares to play his first game in Philadelphia since the day he was shipped out of the city (Richards played here Oct. 15, 2011), a smiling Carter appears ready to let bygones be bygones.
Time has healed his wounds; the Stanley Cup he won with the Kings in 2012 certainly helps.
"I think it's worked out pretty well," Carter said. "Stanley Cup, playing in L.A. It's a pretty good setup."